Patnaik calls on Modi

The Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday met prime minister Narendra Modi to press their demand for a special category status to the state and requested to scrap the Polavaram project fearing several villages will be submerged in the Malkangiri district, which will affect the lives of lakhs of people.

Patnaik, who met Modi along with 24 party MPs, claimed that the meeting with the prime minister was fruitful. However, he avoided media’s queries on whether he will be allying with NDA government or not. He said that his party (BJD) has not given a thought to it and claimed that the issue did not come up during his meeting with Modi.

In a half-an-hour meeting, he has also raised issues on the urgency of central assistance in terms of funds and infrastructural related activities including expansion of railway connectivity. ‘He (Modi) was quite positive to the demands,’ Patnaik said.

Hoping full assistance from the NDA government, Patnaik has requested Modi to intervene immediate in to the controversial Polavaram project situated on the border between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The prime minister was told that the project would submerge nearly 130-odd villages in the Malkangiri district and lakhs of hectors of land. ‘I would like you to recognise the genuine concern of Odisha on submergence and flooding of Malkangiri and to halt the Palavaram project,’ Patnaik was heard raising the issue before the PM.

Already the state government has taken the matter to the Supreme Court demanding for court’s intervention in to the matter.

‘I certainly hope that our prime minister will consider our demands and requests. He was quite positive to our demands,’ he said while commenting on responses he got from Modi and the previous UPA government.

While reminding Modi’s statement ‘India can only grow if states grow’, Patnaik said, ‘We are optimistic about the new government in assisting us in every developmental related issues.’

Meanwhile, the PMO has issued a press statement, which reads, ‘The Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at South Block today. It was a courtesy call. A delegation of 24 MPs from the state also met the Prime Minister.’

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